Floating on the Waves - Cliodhna Ogham Picture

Cliodhna (a name with numerous perplexing pronunciations) is the name of the Queen of the Banshees in Irish mythology - in essence, a fae queen and a powerful symbol of the danger and enchantment of a time and place apart from the march of modernity and banality. As tends to be the case with mythological figures (particularly from old folk traditions), Cliodhna's story isn't a single enduring tale, but rather a set of stories that sometimes agree and sometimes contradict one another, but always contain certain key elements and themes.

The submissions so far have centered around the three symbols of the bird (her companions), the apple (appropriately natural food brought by her bird-assistants), and water (by which Cliodhna is said to have met her death, or at least her forced exile from the world of the living). I like these themes, and they're appropriate to the character, so I made use of each, while also trying to add something of a different flavor to the piece.

The colorful birds flutter around the "otherworldly" tree, fringing the edges of her story. In the center, I deciding not to depict the fairy queen herself, and instead to do something a little different. Her death or disappearance at sea seemed appropriately symbolic, given that the goddess (and even to an extent, her story) has been lost in the tide of time, in which all folktales lose much of their salience. Her name, however, lives on in stories, and in art like ours. I depicted her name, written in Ogham script (the earliest traditional form of written Irish language) floating on the waves.

Hope you like this.

-R. (N.)

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